Vernard Williams
July 2018
Medical Intensive Care Unit
Riverside Community Hospital
United States




Today, we have many wonderful, great, kind and compassionate nurses but when I think of a great extraordinary nurse, I think of Vernard Williams. Vernard, AKA, Mr. VEE. Is a true "Old School" nurse. Quality, safety, compassion and excellent care are always his focus. His #1 goal is to ensure the best patient experience for his critically ill patients and their families.
Vernard believes in full grooming, may it be a haircut, trim, shave, washing hair (whatever the patient wants, asks for, or agrees upon). Vernard still gives back rubs and always finds time to make a personal attachment with his patients and leaves a touching mark on his families.
Vernard can have a critical ventilated patient and find a way to get them up in a chair (it can still be shocking to see a patient who was not doing well, sitting up and smiling or giving the "thumbs up", with Vernard sitting right next to them. For Vernard, this is just a regular day but for those he encounters, they say it is life changing and a touching experience that he can care so deeply, that he has been doing this role for over 30 years and has continued to maintain his high standards of excellence with patient care.
There are so many stories and so many letters and notes of recognition from patients and families.
One story is of a man who was alert, oriented and had end-stage cancer and was hospitalized because of his severe SOB and fear of dying alone. Vernard took care of this man 3 days in a row. The man had made the very difficult decision of making himself a DNR and comfort care. He had no family and was literally alone. Vernard asked the man, "What can I do for you. If I can, I'll do it". The man said,"I'd love to see a beautiful sunset, for the last time". Vernard immediately let the charge nurse know this man's wishes and they found a comfortable wheelchair and a few blankets. At 1800, Vernard took this dying man outside (with all of the equipment) and together, they both sat and enjoyed the sunset together. After the sunset, Vernard brought the patient back to his ICU bed and the patient just held Vernard's hand with several tears in his eyes, saying "Thank you".
Vernard had such a great impact on this dying patient, ensuring his last wish was achieved. We see sunsets many days, but Vernard made sure this patient saw his last one, and Vernard let us know it was a beautiful sunset.
Over the week, the director received 3 written letters complementing Vernard's excellence and I also often have him recognized during Nurse Leader Rounds. I feel Vernard is a silent hero. He does so much which has such a positive effect on the lives of others. Vernard exhibits all of the traits of an extraordinary nurse. He has done it for over 30 years and has continued to always maintain his high standards for excellence.
All of his patients are treated like family!